​Wall Street expects smaller -- but still fat -- bonuses

This holiday season could prove less than jolly for some Wall Street employees.

Stock traders and hedge fund employees could see their year-end bonuses decline by as much as 10 percent this year, The New York Times reports, citing consulting firm Johnson Associates.

The bonuses for traders may be down because banks are shying away from the types of risky trades that could earn big profits, but also pose the potential for losses. Instead, Wall Street banks are focusing on fee-based services such as wealth management and investment banking, which aren't as prone to wild ups and downs.

Still, some financial executives will likely take home a boost in their year-end bonuses, especially for those working in relatively staid units such as asset management and investment banking, the study found. The group surveyed the country's largest banks and asset managers on their pay trends.

And even with compensation slipping compared with previous years, bank executives will be taking home bonuses that would seem like huge windfalls to the average American. Last year's bonuses for Wall Street employees totaled $26.7 billion, or twice what all full-time minimum wage workers in the U.S. earned in 2013.

A decline would come after a healthy bump in 2013, when the average annual bonus rose 15 percent to more than $164,000. That was the highest average bonus on Wall Street since the 2008 financial crisis. By comparison, median U.S. household income stood at $51,900 in 2013, which is little changed from 2012 and is 8 percent lower than household income in 2007 once inflation is factored in.